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of blows including blizzards and hurricane sandy. major events that can keep shoppers away. the bay area was spared disasters and was boosted by good economic news. higher median home prices and low unemployment. >> i would anticipate that certainly the bay area retail sales will be significantly above the national average. >> reporter: the executive director of santa clara university retail management institute. with national numbers showing the slowest growth in four years retail chains may pull back plans to expand. could impact hiring. retailers like consumers are also waiting to see if washington can resolve the impasse on a tax and budget plan. >> when there is that uncertainty they will be more are conservative in investments and inventory and new store growth. we are certainly going to have indications of what direction we are going i would think in the next few weeks. hopefully in the next few days. >> reporter: uncertainty among retailers can have a ripple effect on other sectors of the economy. next month is when toymakers for example start hawking new lines for next christmas
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